Modernizing Nuclear Civil Defense Procedures

Modernizing Nuclear Civil Defense Procedures

Now that our new President is playing fast and loose with an escalation of nuclear armaments, it is time to modernize our nuclear civil defense procedures, just in case.  Actually, President-elect Trump’s off the cuff interview statement during the campaign, “what’s the point of having nuclear weapons if you don’t use them”, was far more serious than those of the last two days.  I compare this to the days of when I was a student, of the civil defense hysteria of the 50’s.  I also lived through the Cuban missile crises weeks from October 16-28, 1962, when John F. Kennedy was President.

The old “duck and cover” was a response to seeing a nuclear blast, and then waiting 5 seconds for every mile away the blast was, until the shock wave blew out your windows and walls, and annihilated you.  Later reasoning showed this to be useless.  There was assumed to be no other warning at the time.

Today, we would instantly detect nuclear launches 30 minutes away by long range missile, or twelve minutes away by submarine.   Massive bomber launches would be detected many hours away.  If the government was required to, it would immediately inform us of irreversible missile launches, with plenty of time for students to shelter in the safest parts of their schools.  This could be easily done by a present or a special smart phone app.  On the West Coast, we will have fast earth quake warning apps, and this could speed their deployment.  In the mid-west and eastern US, there are already tornado warning systems.

In tornado country, there are already underground shelters, or strengthened hallways.  In the west coast, we need to create strengthened hallways.  Steel lockers are a good start, and entering doors can be replaced with windowless metal ones.  Houses will have to have strengthened safe rooms or basements, as already provided in tornado country.

Similar to earthquake preparations on the west coast, we have to have bunker supplies, of a gallon of water per person per day, battery operated radios and flashlights, and an extensive first aid kit, including burn treatment.  Also, a supply of canned goods, and, a manual can opener.

Whereas for towns suffering an isolated disaster, for which they can have immediate surrounding aid, a nuclear exchange, like an earthquake, can damage a wide area, including transportation, water, electricity, and natural gas.

While the upgrade of our nuclear weapons is pegged at a trillion-dollar cost, to be added to Trump’s already 2.5 trillion projected deficit, a true nuclear civil defense effort would cost individuals and states trillions more.

Rather than spending federal, state, and local educational funding rewarding teachers, and upgrading the technical abilities of our students to keep jobs in America, we will be spending such funds on effectively constructing modern caves for our nuclear shelters.

It’s much cheaper not to conduct nuclear threats by tweets and off-stage comments.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
This entry was posted in Affairs of State, Communications, Donald Trump, Earthquakes, Nuclear Weapons, Politics, Russia, Trump Administration. Bookmark the permalink.

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